Real estate agents and landlords might have noticed that face masks make it more difficult to show their personality since the pandemic began. Wearing a mask with clients can conceal your expressions, hide your smile, muffle speech, and lead to misunderstandings between you and to whom you’re talking.
At the same time, masks are essential in many cases to keep your clients comfortable in these pandemic times.
“I felt muzzled,” Learka Bosnak, a sales associate with Douglas Elliman of California in Pasadena, Calif., told The Wall Street Journal about the first time she met a client while wearing a mask. “I was constantly running around, saying, ‘I’m smiling under here!’ This business is all about rapport, comfort level.”
Wearing a Mask with Clients
So what can we do to overcome the problems associated with wearing a mask?
Above all else, experts say that it’s still important to smile. While your mouth is covered, others can perceive your smile and even be audible in your speech.
Eye contact is equally important, so be sure not to wear any sunglasses while meeting your clients.
“Eye contact will become even more important when we can’t gauge each other’s expressions. “Eye contact is the basis of trust, releasing chemicals like oxytocin in the brain.”
Be sure to speak more distinctly too. Your speech will be a little muffled by the mask, and people can’t read your lips to aid them, so you need to raise your voice a bit and speak more clearly.
Don’t shout. Stick to your regular volume for the best results and maintain good eye contact.
Speak Slowly. Allow a little more space between your words to enable the listener to follow your conversation better.
Ask questions. Follow up with the listener to ensure he or she understood the content of your message.
Your environment. Think about your environment and try to move away from any distracting noise, especially other people talking.
You might want to meet a body language expert to learn some more tips on interacting with clients while wearing a mask. An important piece of advice: “face the person, and make sure your feet are in the right place.”
If you don’t do this, the impression you give is that you are not listening to your client. If they are behind you when they ask a question, turn around and look at them face to face. If you are both sitting down, you want to sit up straight and forward in your chair. If they lean back, you might want to match their posture.
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